The Nebraska State College System Trustees have approved 3 additions to existing academic programs at Chadron State College intended to help boost enrollment.
They are a certificate program in Rangeland Management on using drones for mapping agricultural operations, adding Musical Theater to the Theater program, and a weight training and conditioning program for those wanting to work in public schools.
CSC Vice President of Academics Dr Jim Powell told the trustees the drone program is 4 courses and 12 credit hours that teach the how and why of mapping with drones.
It also gives the students hands-on experience by working with local landowners to map their fields using a $17,000 hardware and software package,
Powell said it’s being offered as a certificate rather than a minor because it’s aimed at those who aren’t looking for a degree or already have one with the specialized equipment expected to be a big draw.
The entire CSC Theater program was on the chopping block a year ago because of low numbers, but was saved by a reorganization and even stronger emphasis on recruitment. Powell said a Musical Theater emphasis was one of the most requested and suggested additions by high school drama teachers in the region.
The college Strength and Conditioning options in Sports and Recreation Management are currently focused on those who go into the private sector to work at gyms and health clubs or as private trainers, but Powell said there’s a growing demand for those individuals in the public schools.
Program accreditation and individual certification are required by more school districts and Powell said Chadron State is already exploring the steps needed to have the program receive national accreditation, something he thinks can be achieved within a few years.